The Weinstein Company has announced that their Xmas gift to the world next year will be Quentin Tarantino's upcoming movie, Django Unchained, which is currently casting.
Yes, Django is slated to be released on Christmas Day, which was also when Miramax debuted Jackie Brown in 1997.
Studios can set a prime release date for a block buster a good two years in advance before a frame of film is shot, which is clearly the case with all the movies coming out in December 2012, and Django will certainly be coming out during a very busy holiday season.
December 21, 2011 will see the release of The Lone Ranger starring Armie Hammer (The Social Network) in the title role, and Johnny Depp as Tonto, directed by Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean), Judd Apatow's prequel to Knocked Up, and The Life of Pi, starring Tobey Maguire, directed by Ang Lee, are also due on December 21, and the long awaited first installment of The Hobbit, will be released on December 14.
Tarantino wants Will Smith to play Django, but reportedly talks have "cooled," with Smith's interest in the project "waning."
Other actors being considered for the role include Jamie Foxx, Idris Elba (The Office, Thor), and Chris Tucker. (What about Michael Jai White, who did a great job playing Mike Tyson in the HBO biopic of the fallen boxer, and was also in Kill Bill and The Dark Knight?)
Leonardo DiCaprio is reportedly in "final negotiations" to play the Simon Legree style slave master, Calvin Candie, and Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz are also reportedly close to closing deals to star in the film as well.
Other actors rumored to be up for roles in Django include Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, 300), Treat Williams (Prince of the City), Keith Carradine (Nashville, Cowboys and Aliens), and Franco Nero, who played the title role in the original Django.